With war only weeks old, battle lines drawn and the invasion of Poland well underway, French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier went before the French people to give an assessment of the war so far. And so far, morale was high – the Maginot line was impregnable; it wasn’t going to be a replay of World War 1 with trenches and pitch battles and thousands lost for the sake of yards, not miles.
It was a new war, and with Russia now aligned with Germany, Italy and Japan, the future looked far from certain. Germany had lied about its promises and its motives, and France was now thrown into a war it didn’t want. But, as Daladier pointed out, it was a fight for human dignity and dignity in the world – and it was committed to pledging full support to the allied cause.
Here is that complete address by Premier Edouard Daladier, with simultaneous English translation, as it was originally broadcast from Paris Radio on September 21, 1939.